Sundered Heavens: Escape pt2

They brought the man who rescued her onto the ship, hurrying as the window of escape closed and the rest of the crew began preparing for take-off. The people who brought Mr. Anderson on-board were dressed like he had been- rugged looking white armored suits that scared her, reminding her of the big platinum beetles her older brother had kept as pets. She tried to see what was going on, but a nurse in fatigues picked up Julia’s eight-year old frame and carried her to the passenger seats, making sure the little girl was secured for the launch, trying to soothe the child.

“Don’t worry, you’re safe now.” He said. Julia knew he was lying, just like her father lied when he said her mother would be okay. But her mother never came home from the hospital.

Julia strained her neck, trying to look down the cramped hallway to see what the doctors were doing to Mr. Anderson. “But what about Mr. Anderson?”

The nurse smiled grimly. “He’s hurt really bad, hon. They’re not even sure he’ll live.” He spared a glance to the mob of doctors working on Simon, and tried to smile for the little girl. “He brought you here, right?”

Julia nodded, still too numb to really grasp the implications of the past twelve hours. The nurse fished a small foil-wrapped bar out of his breast pocket and opened it up to reveal a chocolate bar. Julia knew a bribe when she saw one, and reached for the candy.

“You’ve gotta be hungry.” He said, putting the confection into the girl’s tiny outstretched hand. “My name’s Ryunosuke, but you can call me Ryu. What’s your name, kiddo?”

She answered with a mouthful of candy bar. “Julia.” If his name was Ryunosuke, why did the patch on his chest say Tatamori, Julia wondered.

“Okay Julia, the ship’s about to take off, so I need you to sit tight and not mess with your harness. If one of the straps gets loose, you could get hurt or die.” Tatamori said. Julia’s mind flashed back to the ruins of her apartment home, her dad crushed under a piece of ceiling. She winced at the memory but managed to nod to Ryu that she understood. Ryu checked the buckles and harness on Julia one final time, mussed up her mousy hair in a friendly manner, and jogged back toward where the doctors were working on Mr. Anderson. A thick door slid into place, blocking her view.

Julia felt the harness tug at her as the ship took off, cushions inflating to keep her blood flowing properly. She looked out the tiny window in front of her, watching with a mix of wonder and fear as the military shuttle moved up and away from the soot-choked skies of Prometheus Prime into the utter black of space.
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